Walcha to Kingaroy

24/3 -31/3/16

While in Walcha we decided to take a trip up memory lane, and headed up to Aspley Falls, this was where Jack took me for a picnic on one of our very first dates!  Back then the water was following, the falls were always a beautiful place to go.  We packed a picnic lunch and off we headed.  It’s a bit different now, sadly, no water so no falls was the biggest change.  Its very dry here in the Walcha area, I guess, just like much of Australia.  There are paths and walkways and lots more stairs, lots more access to view the gorge itself, which was lovely.  We enjoyed walking around the rim, with all its overhanging viewing platforms.  Could have done without some nice people warning us, on our walk back, that there was a king brown sunning itself on the rocks “just ahead, on the left”!  Sheeshh, thankfully we didn’t see it.  All in all, it was nice to be here.  In Walcha are quite a few nice cafes and lots of bike tracks, dotted with queer and unique wood sculptures.

Then an stop overnight at Texas and on to Kingaroy and our big lap is done and dusted.  We have done just over 37,000 kms, used over 5,000 litres of diesel, have been on the road  400 nights and have enjoyed every minute of it.  Have been so blessed with good health and overall great weather and of course we have seen so many wonderful sights, and have met many lovely people.  This is by no means the end of our travels, we are already planning our next trip!  Hey, thanks for reading this blog, and thank you for stopping ing to comment now and then,  its been great to hear from you.  Looking forward to catching up soon.

I guess this is signing off from our big lap….see you on the road again some time soon.

Love and Blessing

Jack & Christine

 

Blanchetown to Walcha

 

15/3-30/3/16

Pulled into the Big 4 at Blanchetown, which in fact is a little 4 really, just a quaint little no fuss park right on the Murray River, and right besides Lock No. 1.  Lovely grass area on the banks and a love swing so we could sit and watch the pelicans paddling around at the base of the lock, fishing! Then an extra treat as Tuesday was the day the Murray Princess comes up the Murray and through the lock, so that was entertaining.

We had a nice couple of days here, just chillalexing!  Then pushing on to do a bit of free camping as we head up the road towards home.  We found a great free camp, again right on the banks of the Murray river….it was lovely and peaceful as we were the only ones there so spent two nights.  On the way here, we came across a dust storm that stayed with us for about 100 kms, sometimes it was so thick we could only see a few meters ahead.

Robinvale camp site……just lovely…..

Then on to Goolgowi caravan park, just for one night, not much here except the pub for tea, nice not to have to cook, hey Jack! LOL. Moving on, next night we are into Forbes.  What a lovely town this is and the free camp is right on the lake, right at town so we were able to just walk across the bridge to get supplies.  The night we were there, there was a lot of mobile homes in, as they had just come from a solos convention at Forbes for a week.  there had been 350 vehicles, all with solo people travelling.  Forbes is on the list now for a revisit!

 

From Forbes its onto a free camp at a tiny place called Ballimore, where the pub had come highly recommended for dinner, and it was pretty good tucker and the locals were friendly, though we were parked right next to the railway line.  No problem, they said, only one train a week, they said!  They lied!  Twice during the night we thought we would get run down by the thunderous trains, miles long, rattling through right next to us!!  Good joke on the grey nomads! One more night of free camping, this time at Premer, a place we had stopped at over night when we first began this journey, almost 12 months to the day.  Then onto Walcha for Easter.  We want to be off the road during the Easter break and this little caravan park is a corker, really lovely, probably the best and cleanest amenities we have had and lovely and peaceful.  This’ll do for 6 nights.

Jack & Christine

Adelaide!

1/3 -15/3/16

Arrived at West Beach, what a beautiful beach it is too, and the caravan is huge, expensive and very nice!  Perfect spot for Jack to spend the next 12 days on his own as I abandon him to fly up to Brisbane to stay with Mackenzie while her mum and dad go to Las Vegas!  I had resolved to never ever fly again, but as we have been travelling I have learnt to trust my God and vowed that in 2016 I would not live in fear.  Little did I know that I would be tested so soon!  However Scott and Dee booked my flights, business class, which was a real treat and the flights up and back were just lovely, smooth and uneventful which is exactly what you want!  Thank you my God, ever faithful.  I had a great time with Mackenzie, taking her to school each day and then to her activities after school.  It was lovely to see her playing tennis, horse riding, gymnasticing (?) and dancing.  Then on the weekend we, Mackenzie and I, drove down to Byron Bay for the weekend to see Steve and family.  The timing of my trip to Brisbane was good as it was Xavier’s 3rd birthday so we were able to be there for his birthday party on Saturday.  I had a busy week too, and was able to catch up with both Sue and Bob one day and Heather another,  then on separate days 2 girlfriends from Kingaroy.  Would have liked to catch up with Chrissy too and Sue in Brisbane, but time just ran out and I was back on the plane and back with Jack before I knew it.  That time went so quickly.  Scott and Dee had a wonderful time in LasVegas, renewing their wedding vows in Elvis Chapel and heaps of other adventures.  I was so glad that it worked out that I could be there so they had this special time together.  To say nothing of time with my grandies.

Back in Adelaide, with Jack, but only for a few days.  We caught up with Jack’s nephew,  Richard and his family for dinner in town on Saturday night.  It was lovely to see them all again.  They had taken Jack out to a show during the week too.  We did a bike ride to Glenelg too, such a lovely part of Adelaide, I would have loved to stay longer but we are thinking we need to get home now and make our plans for the house etc.  So we hitched up and headed off to Blanchetown, after a change of plans heading up the highway!  A few days beside the Murray River seems to be a nice way to finish off our big lap, a few free camps and a few hundred kms and we will be home!  Gosh!  So maybe only one or two more blogs to go…..love you all, God bless, see you on the Murray.  J & C

Fitzgerald Bay & Port Germaine

25/2-1/3/2016

It’s time for some more wild camping so off we set to Fitzgerald Bay, where apparently the crabs are in abundance and you use a rake to get them! Apparently!  We are with the friends we crossed the Nullabor with and they had been told of this spot.  Anyway, after 12 kilometres of dust and gravel, hills and gullies we realised that we had better find somewhere to turn around before the road deteriorated any further!  Over the next hill and there we go, a camp site!  Big enough for both vans to go into, right opposite the water looking across the bay to Port Germain, our next stop!  There was no sandy bottom to the bay, just all rocks so not able to rack ’em in or fish for that matter but it wasn’t a bad stop to camp for 2 nights, the sunset was absolutely spectacularly amazing!

It looks dusty, and it was, but over the 12 months on the road we have grown accustom to the rough side of wild camping and don’t mind it at all.  Check out the sunset though…

Gosh that’s beautiful!!  Packed up and set off to Port Germaine for a couple of days before heading into Adelaide.  This is a lovely little town with a 1.5km jetty as its claim to fame!  That means the tides here must be huge!

That’s from the end of the jetty looking back to Port Germaine!  One loooong jetty! Nice sunsets here too, and lovely country markets on Sunday which was a bonus.

Now we head to Adelaide and our next adventure.  Tell you all about it when we get there. Starting to feel like we are heading home.. J & C

 

Port Lincoln

19/2-23/2/2016

We have a beaut site here at Port Lincoln, overlooking the port.  We are perched up on a terraced hill and its just so nice, if only the wind would stop blowing!  Still, there is a yacht race from Adelaide to here over the weekend so I am sure they at least will be glad of it.

The sea food here is in abundance, especially local oysters and whiting.  And we were treated to a spectacular full moon over the water…perfect. Had a delicious sea food lunch at the marina too.

Out driving again, looking out at the ocean, so beautiful, from the advantage point of the cliffs, the edge of Australia still!  Magnificent and so so pretty, the water is so clear and so blue.  Here we were treated to seeing a sea lion surfing the waves into the beach, it wasn’t fishing, just having a great time surfing the waves.  We watched for about half an hour and I can’t help but think, how blessed are we, it was almost like God made up for us not being able to see the seal colony very well, with this single sea lion just enjoying the day!  I didn’t actually get a photo of it but took some of the beach and surf where it was, don’t think you will be able to see him though.

So beautiful, will definitely be looking to visit here again, next time for a month or two.  Australia is so big; we had envisaged,  when we started out, setting up camp somewhere we loved for a few months, but the longest we have stayed in one spot is just over 2 weeks, there has been so many places and so many kilometres to see.  By the time we get home we will have seen a lot, but still a heck of a lot more we haven’t, but we have a good over view now and have a list of places we must revisit in the next few years!  No moss gathering just yet!

From Port Lincoln we head to Arno Bay for a couple of nights, just to have a look around.  While here we visited Coffin Bay and Tumby Bay, both beautiful spots, once again, will have to revisit for a lot longer next time. We also got the bikes down and went for a ride along this very long board walk by the river, and took the time to find a couple of caches as well. Nice visit here.

Moving on again,

J & C

Ceduna, Eliston

13/2 – 19/2/16

The Nullabor behind us, we are travelling along the coast, around the Eyre Peninsula then on to Adelaide.  The Nullabor was a great experience, now looking forward to Ceduna.  Such a pretty coastal town, I could definitely stay here for a few weeks, but we are on a time limit now as we have to be in Adelaide in 2 weeks time, and I guess we do have to get home at some stage.  While I miss the kids and grandies, that’s for sure, I have no real rush to be ‘home’, we are so enjoying this beautiful country.  There is so much to see out here and so many lovely people travelling, and so little housework! What’s not to like about this lifestyle.  Anyway…

Ceduna & Elliston both lovely places so will just post a few pictures, we did a bit of touring around taking photos but that’s about all so not too much to write about…

 

that’s Ceduna, didn’t take many photos here, oops.  We did have a lovely night out at the beautiful Ceduna Foreshore Hotel Motel one night.  The dinner was so big we couldn’t fit in any of the tempting desserts, so we went back the next night for coffee, port and dessert! Splendid.

Eliston next, we went for a long drive out to some cliffs while here, to see a seal colony.  We did see lots of seals but the cliffs are so high that we could not get very close at all, so its a bit hard to see seals in the photos, but they are there.

See those white looking dots on the rocks? Seals!  We also found a lovely drive along some other cliffs nears Eliston and here we were able to get down to the beach, some interesting rock formation here too.

On to Port Lincoln next…..C & J

 

Esperance

28/1/ – 4/2

Esperance, what a lovely place, spectacular scenery yet again.  Our first trip took us up to the Rotary look out, then we drove the ocean road and were in awe of the beautiful coastline here.

We stopped at one look out along the way and there were hang gliders floating around.  One guy was very obliging and ‘hung around’ us for ages so we could get some really good pictures of him! Show off!  No, we were glad he did, and told him so…well yelled him so!

We also did a lot of bike riding here, Esperance was fairly flat and had a lovely walkway/bike track right along the seaside, with a great coffee and food area right in the centre of town, also on the seaside, so we could stop there for coffee then continue on. Lovely.

Next we went to visit Stonehenge, the fully restored, as it was originally, copy version!  It was amazing, built exactly to scale, sacrificial alter and all.  Very well done and great for snapping photos – heaps of, even took one of them taking one of me!!

From there it was off to Lucky Bay – wow, what a beautiful spot, another one. This is one spot we are definitely coming back too one day, during whale season, as the whales come right in here and you just sit on the beautiful, squeaky sandy beach and watch them.  Definitely added to my bucket list for a revisit!  We even got to say hello to a couple of locals eating the sea grass!

Such a great place, would love to spend a few months here!  Well from here we travelled up to Kalgoorlie, then crossed the Nullabor, but I have already posted those experiences so now its on to Ceduna and exploring the Eyre and York Peninsulas of South Australia.  See you there,

love and God bless

Jack & Christine